Dryer Not Spinning? – 5 Common Issues And How To Fix Them Fairly Easily

Is your dryer not spinning when you press START? When trying to run a load of laundry this can be frustrating, and is at the very least, inconvenient. If this has happened to you, then you fully understand the hassle and expense of calling in experts for repairs.

Well, here’s the good news: 90% of the time, you can tackle these issues at home for a significant cost savings.

Wondering why your dryer isn’t spinning? Follow our 5 tips to have it back in action in no time.

Finding Your Model Number

First things, first.  It’s going to be super helpful for you to know your dryer‘s model number in order for you to be able to get the correct parts you may need.

The model number will usually be found near the edge of the dryer’s mouth, behind the closed door.  Most appliances (microwaves, dishwashers, ovens, etc.) are the same way.  If not, you may have to look on the back of the appliance.

dryer model number location

Common reasons for your dryer not spinning:

  • Broken Belt
  • Broken Idler Pulley
  • Worn Out Drum Roller Or Axle
  • Damaged Drum Glide
  • Jammed Rear Drum Bearing
  • Malfunctioned Motor

A Broken Drive Belt.

Drive belts often wear out or snap (especially in older dryers), or perhaps even through sheer bad luck.  In fact, a belt can have a defect right off the assembly line, though it’s not very common.

The drive motor rotates the dryer drum via the drive belt, and continual use can wear it out. When it snaps, you need to replace it.

Despite sounding complex, fixing a bad belt is manageable with a bit of patience.

To replace the drive belt, find the correct model for your dryer. Just click HERE and enter your dryer’s brand and model number.

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Once you have the right belt, you can begin the the replacement process. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your particular model, but we’ll give you the basic process.

For most dryers, follow these steps:

  1. Remove the front panel.
  2. Remove the front bulkhead to access the drive belt.
  3. Purchase the same series/model number belt for your specific dryer.
  4. Replace the snapped belt, ensuring it fits around the drum.

After reinstalling the front panel and bulkhead, your dryer should be back to spinning again.

Here’s a video for a Samsung, as an example.

A broken idler pulley

The idler pulley (or tension roller) keeps the belt under tension, preventing it from slipping off. Lack of lubrication causes squeaking, and if not addressed, the pulley can jam and break.

If your dryer was making strange noises and then stopped spinning, it’s likely the idler pulley is broken. Replace it for smooth operation.

How to Fix It:

  1. Diagnose the issue if you hear weird noises and the dryer stops spinning.
  2. Open the dryer case to access the belt drive system.
  3. Inspect the pulley to make sure it is indeed the culprit.
  4. Check the belt’s state of health while you’re in there.
  5. Purchase the Idler Pulley (affiliate link).
  6. Remove the belt and bad pulley.
  7. Install the new pulley (and new belt, perhaps) to ensure your dryer operates seamlessly.
  8. Reassemble the dryer and fire it up.
bad pulley causes dryer not spinning
Get Idler Pulley Here (affiliate link)

A Worn Out Drum Roller or Axle.

Most dryers have rollers supporting the drum. Listen for squeaks during operation—a sign that rollers or axles are worn. It’s wise to replace all rollers and axles simultaneously for prolonged performance.

How to Fix It:

  1. Identify the placement of drum rollers based on your dryer’s make/model. Consult your owner’s manual.
  2. Remove the front panel and bulkhead to access these components.
  3. Remove drum from dryer.
  4. Replace worn-out drum rollers. Important: replace all rollers at once.
  5. Manually spin them to check for smooth rotation.
  6. Reassemble the dryer.
  7. Test by running a dry cycle.

Once again, it’s good practice to replace all of the rollers and axles at the same time, to ensure that your dryer keeps rolling without issue for many years to come. You don’t want to have to do this all over again in a few months!

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A Damaged Drum Glide.

Some dryers have plastic glides supporting the drum’s front. If worn or damaged, they may cause the drum to get stuck and grind, straining the drive motor. Replacing the glides are relatively easy.

How to Fix It:

  1. Open the front of the dryer, remove the bulkhead and front panel.
  2. Remove the worn drum glide and replace it.
  3. Inspect the glide for abnormal wear and uneven contact surfaces.
  4. Purchase a replacement drum glide and replace.
  5. Reassemble the dryer.
  6. Test the spin cycle on your dryer.

A Worn Out Drum Bearing.

Certain dryers use a rear drum bearing for drum support. When worn out, it hampers the dryer’s ability to spin, often accompanied by noticeable noise. Keep an ear out for this issue and address it promptly to prevent further damage.

How to Fix It:

  1. Remove the control panel, bulkhead, and front panel.
  2. Remove the drive belt.
  3. Remove the drum.
  4. Remove the drum bearing and replace with new.
  5. Reassemble the dryer and test.
  6. This is a complex job, and it might require professional assistance.

This video (for a Frigidaire/Electrolux) will give you an idea of the process.

A Malfunctioning Drive Motor.

The drive motor spins the drum and powers the blower wheel.

Check to see if the blower wheel is stuck. If the blower wheel is clear but the motor hums without spinning, it has failed. Replacing the drive motor is necessary.

How to Fix It:

  1. Dismantle the dryer according to the same steps above for accessing the bearing.
  2. Remove the blower wheel.
  3. Disconnect the wiring harness to the motor.
  4. Remove the motor.
  5. Replace with new motor and reassemble dryer.

This is a bit more technical of a repair than some others. Take a look at the video below for a step-by-step example.

Specific Brand Dryers

Whirlpool Dryer Not Spinning?

Commonly, a broken drive belt is the issue. Check this first if your Whirlpool dryer stops spinning.

Although Whirlpool is one of the most reliable and popular manufacturers on the market, all machines are susceptible to wear and tear over time, and this is an especially common and easy to fix issue with these machines.

Related: What is Whirlpool Dryer Error Code F70?

Maytag Dryer Not Spinning?

Maytag dryers can fall victim to any of the issues detailed above, but over time we do see a propensity for the drum rollers to wear out – more so than other brands.

Replace all rollers simultaneously to ensure even wear.  This is important for longevity.

Related: No Heat From Maytag Dryer?

Samsung Dryer Not Spinning?

Samsung dryers, despite their digital sophistication, might encounter drum bearing issues. Check and replace them as needed.

Also, inspect the drive belt for wear while you have the dryer apart.  If it’s showing signs of wear, you’re better off to replace it at the same time as the bearings.

Related: Samsung Dryer Not Heating

Final Thoughts

Appliances will always be in need of repair eventually.  But remember, prompt attention to these issues and taking a little preventive care can extend your dryer’s life and keep it running smoothly.

Feel free to browse through our extensive library of repair guides and articles on all types of appliances.

Also, see our sister sites on Car and Truck Repair, as well as Heating and AC Repair.

Reader Comments (4)

  1. Changed belt on speed queen dryer , assembled back together, hit start and it makes a noise like it’s going to start but immediately shuts off, if I hit it multiple times I get a burnt smell and then won’t start. Can’t spin drum manually, took apart twice to see if I did something wrong but seems right. Help!

    • Can you turn motor by hand when disassembled? Can you turn assembled dryer drum by hand? If not, there is a problem with the motor.

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